Pony Up Rescue Collective

Help Horses. Help People.
Pony Up Rescue Collective Mission Statement

Help Horses * Help People

Pony Up Rescue Collective seeks to expand horse access. We save horses from slaughter, rehabilitating and training them for adoption while inviting the community to join in as visitors, volunteers, donors, participants in free wellness programming, and sponsors. Whether you are horse savvy or horse-curious, you can be part of their positive new lease on life as we rescue, rehabilitate, train, and rehome of these extraordinary creatures. Our ultimate goal is to bridge the equestrian world and larger, underserved, animal-loving community; to expand equitable access to the far-reaching benefits of horses.

Always wanted to rescue a horse,
but can't do it alone?

How does the horse rescuing part work?
It takes a village to rescue horses. We identify a horse or pony in dire need of rescue and seek to fundraise the cost of bail, transport, supplies, and veterinary/farrier/dental care for the first year of rehabilitation. Check out project: Pearl, and project: Sweet Potato. Founder Kelsey Merrow manages their daily care, rehabilitation and training, assessing their suitability and adopting out or rehoming accordingly. Roseview Farm in Tivoli, NY provides DIY board, and veterinarians, farriers, and fellow horse professionals are engaged to support the effort. Once rehabilitated and trained or retrained, we adopt them out as riding ponies, therapeutic partners, or companions.
How does the money work?
All monies donated to Pony Up Rescue Collective go through our sponsoring 501(c)(3) organization, Chappy & Friends, which acts as our fiscal agent. 93% of donations are devoted to rehabilitating the horses and ponies we have rescued from the slaughter pipeline. That includes bail, transport, and veterinary/farrier/dental care during rehabilitation and training. The other 7% pays for accounting, tax filing, and other fiscal obligations handled by Chappy & Friends on our behalf.
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Curious about horses, but never had a chance to know them?

Looking for equine-assisted community programming?

Pony Up Rescue Collective is a 501(c)(3) fiscally-sponsored project of Chappy & Friends, thus all donations are fully tax-deductible. Learn more at https://www.pledge.to/pony-up-rescue-collective

What's the collective part?
We are a community organization, collectively rescuing horses, one by one. We welcome the public to participate as rescue team members, visitors, workshop attendees, donors, volunteers and sponsors. Further, our horses are available for public programming initiatives. There is no charge to visit and get involved, and participation can be tailored to level of interest and experience. Participants are encouraged to visit and spend time with our horses and ponies. Visitors, donors, volunteers, community programming partners, and sponsors join together to rescue and experience horses together.
Pony Up recognizes the immense benefits of experience with horses and is working towards a community-based collaboration that involves underserved populations, survivors of trauma, and local families who may never have had horses in their lives but are curious to meet them. The goal is to engage the community as we rehabilitate and train rescues that can be adopted out to loving forever homes.
Cover Story in Daily Freeman

Meet our youngest rescue, named after artist Tove Jansson's magical Moomins.

Featured Rescue: Moomin

Raised in the hunter/jumper world on a hands-on family farm, Kelsey received a comprehensive and varied education in horses under Francesca Mazella, Judy Richter, Nancy Cole, Molly Flaherty, Kate Stoeffels, Bill Cooney and Lisa Sherman. She has ridden professionally in various capacities for twenty years.

With life-long experience, a compassionate approach to both horses and humans, and a passion for horse rescue, she founded Pony Up Rescue Collective in 2022. The collective-style horse rescue operates as a 501(c)(3) through fiscal sponsorship from parent non-profit, Chappy & Friends. Pony Up is currently home to a small herd of rescued ponies & horses undergoing rehabilitation and training with Kelsey.

When not in the barn, Kelsey is Assistant Business Manager of her family's commercial horse farm as well as remote Executive Assistant for Dovetail Commercial Real Estate. She is finishing up an Entrepreneurship Certificate at SUNY Ulster and beginning their Vet Tech degree program, part-time, next semester. KM Equine, LLC is her horse training business.

Her credentials include:

  • 'B-level' Pony Club member.

  • B.A. & B.F.A. degrees from Brown and New School Universities, respectively.

  • Hunter/Jumper/Equitation showing through 1.10m.

  • Eventing/Dressage through Training/2nd level.

  • Hunter pacing/cross country riding throughout.

  • Professional catch riding, horse training, correction, schooling, desensitization, and rehab work on all ages and levels of horses and ponies.

  • Variously: Riding instructor, show groom, stable hand, equine business manager, wrangler.

About Kelsey

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